Tag Archives: cityscape

Friday’s Thought – Fleeting Moments


“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.”

(Eudora Welty)



Filed under Friday's Thought, New York, New York City, photography, wisdom, wise quotes

My Favorite Things – A Luncheon in the Clouds

Yesterday I caught up with a good friend over lunch.  She suggested we meet at Robert, the ninth floor restaurant in Columbus Circle’s Museum of Arts and Design.

If you’re hurrying by the sleek facade of the Museum of Arts and Design, you could easily overlook this gem.

Museum of Art and Design at Columbus Circle

But if you’ve got good eyesight (or a zoom lens!) you’ll notice that that this restaurant on the southwest corner of Central Park has an incredible vantage point.

Photo of the restaurant Robert from the outside

 The menu is cheery and straight forward…

Robert wine menu

With clean and fresh flavors that are matched by the airy and light ambiance.

Restaurant Robert decor

orchid vases at restaurant Robert

I ordered the endive and apple salad with chicken…

Endive and apple salad with chicken at restaurant Robert

(And loved every bite!)

Tables by the window are booked weeks in advance…

View looking north from restaurant Robert

But even if you can’t nab one of those, you’ll still be guaranteed a great view!


Filed under Architecture, My Favorite Things, New York City, photography

My Favorite Things – My Fair City

As a resident of the Big Apple for just under four years, I don’t suppose it’s fair to call it “my” fair city.  But it does feel that way to me.  In fact, I now find it hard to imagine living anywhere else!   New York is a city of neighborhoods – a melting pot of people from all walks of life – and a veritable feast of sounds, smells and sights.

After all, where else can you look up to see this…

Empire State Building

And look DOWN to see this…

View from the Empire State Building


Looking north towards Bryant Park


flatiron building


Looking south towards the World Trade Center

And this?

Chrysler building

 (P.S. The Observatory views at the Empire State building are still worthwhile on a cloudy day.)


Filed under Architecture, Influences, My Favorite Things, New York, photography

Friday’s Thought – Home Sweet Home

lamps near Central Park South

“Of course I’ll return to New York.  It’s my home.  Is there any place else?  I’d rather be a lamppost on Seventh Avenue than a queen in another country.”

(Grace Watson)

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Filed under Architecture, Friday's Thought, New York, wisdom

Channeling Edison – Part Two (A Success Story)

As promised, I’m back today with my redone “Love Letter to New York” illustration along with some tips on Copic rendering techniques.

For comparison purposes, here’s the old illustration…

Love letter to NY

And the new!

Love Letter to NY redone with stars and lighter yellow3 signed

You’ll notice that I not only broke up the blocks of grey with the shading (more on that below), but I also created some architectural interest and added a few chinks of sky (along with some stars!)  Josephine’s costume is more elegant and her features are softer, too.

Besides learning a thing or two about composition, my journey with this illustration has also taught me some successful ways to work with Copic Markers.

#1.  If you’re creating an illustration for print purposes (in this case, this design is for a new business card for MOI), you don’t need to render the original at a large size.  As you can see, I actually shrunk down my original line drawing so that I would have less area to color in…not to mention that it saved me on ink.  Woo hoo!

original illustration and resized version for comparison

#2. For the actual rendering techniques, I did a refresher art school course (oh wait, I didn’t go to art school!) by watching this helpful YouTube video on laying down initial color and blending with Copic Markers :

And, although I used grey from the same family of Cool Grey Copic markers as in the first illustration, I broadened the range of grey so that there would be more visual depth.

#3. I added light touches of white pencil (I used a Conté a Paris pencil since I don’t have a white gel pen) to bring out the highlights in Jo’s dress:

Detail of redone Love Letter to New York illustration

#4. I did the final details (i.e. adding the shadow underneath the ledge and adding the text) in my Corel Paint Shop Pro X5 photo editing program…

love letter to NY elbow redone

And that’s a wrap business card!


Filed under Art, Drawing, education, Joana Miranda Studio, Josephine, Josephine in the City, marker and ink illustration, New work, New York, print, techniques

Jo’s Journey (A Somewhat Irreverent Guide to Doing Anything Better) – Channeling Edison

Thomas Edison said…

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” 

I’m not sure I am at the 10,000 flops mark, but I feel like I came close earlier this week.  And here’s why.

When I created this illustration…

Love letter to NY

I was pretty excited with the overall concept.  Upon review from my editor-in-chief  (a.k.a my husband) though,  I realized that Josephine’s expression did need some tweaking.

And my husband also wasn’t convinced by the background.  He said…

Grey detail from illustration

So I decided to start over, and am happy to share with you my list of…


#1. Begin by retracing the illustration onto a fresh sheet of marker paper.

Technically, retracing does work, but by versions 6, 7 and 8 (see below), I felt pretty foolish when I realized that scanning the line drawing into my computer and then printing it out onto art paper was a lot less time-consuming.

many versions of the same illustration

#2.   Use Q-tips with Copic Various Ink Refills to create a background ink wash.

That was my intention at least when I made the trip to Dick Blick’s art store in lower Manhattan to purchase the Copic Various Ink refills.  I found the refills, but also attracted the attention of a security guard who followed me around every aisle convinced I was his childhood French art teacher.  But I digress.  More to the point was that I learned that the Q-tip wash technique is best suited for small background areas.  On my illustration, the result was messy and streaky looking…not to mention that my hands got stained with the inks.

#3. Cleaning up Copic ink spills is easy.

Guess what?  This is permanent ink.  Soap and water won’t remove it and neither will nail polish remover.   However, Copic Colorless Blender solution does!  Which is something to keep in mind when you try and use the “Blender” to blend different colored inks on your marker paper.  The blender should be renamed “Color-Lifter-Offer” or “Color-Smearer.”   Here’s an example of the blender used incorrectly…

detail of illustration with critique

#4. Dilute Copic ink with water for a softer background “wash.”

My attempts at a water-diluted ink wash resulted in this (mess).  Note the buckled and wrinkled paper.

illustration attempts

#5. You can smooth out any buckles or wrinkles on your Borden & Riley #125 Bleedproof marker paper with a household iron.

Although I have ironed other paper before, this paper is definitely not suited for this kind of treatment.  In fact, if you iron the shiny back side of the paper, the paper will glue itself to your iron.  How neat is that?!

After gaining all of this hard-earned wisdom, some people might have done this…

crumpled paper

But not me (or Thomas Edison.)  So I hope you’ll come back tomorrow to see the redone illustration along with some tips on WAYS THAT WORK!


Filed under Art, illustration, Influences, marker and ink illustration, materials, motivation, New work, wisdom

Friday’s Thought – A Love Letter to New York

Love letter to NY




Filed under Art, Friday's Thought, illustration, Influences, Josephine, Josephine in the City, marker and ink illustration, New work, New York